Baby Suffocates After Mom's Halloween Drinking Binge: OCDA

The infant died after falling face-down on a pile of clothes, say prosecutors

An Orange County woman will be arraigned Tuesday for allegedly allowing her 2-month-old baby to suffocate after a drinking binge with neighbors on Halloween, according to Orange County District Attorney's office.

Corrina Atuatasi, 27, was at her Garden Grove apartment alone with her 2-month-old baby, Aiden Galeai, on Oct. 30, when she decided to step outside for a cigarette, according to prosecutors.

She ran into a neighbor who invited her to join him and two friends for drinks at his apartment, according to the DA. She followed the neighbor, leaving Aiden in the apartment alone, prosecutors said.

Atuatasi returned a short time later, allegedly placed Aiden in a car seat and returned to the neighbor’s apartment to continue drinking. She then left him in a bedroom for several hours, prosecutors said.

Around 4 a.m. on Oct. 31, Atuatasi returned home with Aiden. At some point, he ended up face-down in a pile of clothing and suffocated, according to the DA's office. It is unclear whether he was dropped onto the pile or kicked off the bed into the pile as Atuatasi slept, said prosecutors.

Two hours later, Atuatasi woke up and called 911 when she could not find Aiden. After calling police, Atuatasi found him face-down on a pile of clothes, prosecutors said. He was already dead by the time Garden Grove police arrived.

Atuatasi’s husband and 2-year-old daughter were away visiting family.

Atuatasi was arrested on Nov. 23. She is charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter, one felony count of child abuse and causing bodily injury to a child under the age of 5. Her blood alcohol level at the time of the Aiden’s death was .23, nearly three times the legal limit, police said.

Prosecutors will ask a judge to set her bail at $100,000 during an arraignment hearing on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Central Jail in Santa Ana. If convicted, Atuatasi faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison.

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